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THE GIRLS FROM N.O.O.D.L.E.S.

girls_from_noodles_cb_diana235 girls_from_noodles_cb_diana260 girls_noodles_cb_dianaannual1969 girls_from_noodles_cb_diana177 girls_noodles_cb_dianaannual1968 girls_from_noodles_cb_diana216 girls_from_noodles_cb_diana206 girls_from_noodles_cb_diana205 girls_from_noodles_cb_diana187 girls_from_noodles_cb_diana232
 
Full Name: Gale Price and Nicola Main
Nationality: British
Organization: N.O.O.D.L.E.S.
Occupation Agent

Creator: Geoffrey Whittam
Time Span: 1966 - 1968

ABOUT THE SERIES

Gale Price and Nicola Main are agents with N.O.O.D.L.E.S.

That rather odd acronym stands for the National Organization for Order, Discipline, and Law Enforcement in Schools. Its purpose is to ensure that that day-to-day running of the many seats of learning across the United Kingdom is not interrupted by underhanded individuals with shady plans of their own. From the number of operatives scattered across the nation in small bases or on assignment at the various facilities being protected, there are a good deal of shenanigans taking place all the time. Some of these illegal activities are quite vicious and sometimes lethal.

Running the entire operation is an elderly grandmotherly-type lady known only as Miss "Z". This white-haired bespectacled apparent spinstress might at times appear a doddering old lady but she runs a very tight and highly state-of-the-art technological agency, complete with a sophisticated control center where each of the active operations are monitored 24/7.

The exact age of the two young ladies whose adventures comprise those of "The Girls From N.O.O.D.L.E.S." is not stated but is likely to be 15 or 16, probably the latter. The two are obviously best of friends based on how close they act and how concerned they are for each other, though they do not let that interfere with getting the mission down correctly.

Both Price and Main are highly athletic individuals, vital for carrying out some of the assignments they are given. Running long distances, swimming, and mountain climbing are but three of the physical activities they will be called upon to perform. Skills with the use of various weaponry including archery and handguns are honed during the times they are not actively in the field.

Price is a brunette and appears to be the one more likely to come up with the plan of action used. The blonde Main is the more cerebral and does the majority of research in preparation for the missions. Both are adventurous and gutsy and quite capable of taking care of themselves and each other.

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:1966
Last Appearance:1968

       One of several weekly publications from British publisher D C Thomson devoted to girls aged 10+ (my estimate) was Diana. It ran from February 1963 to December 1976 for a total of 720 issues.
       It was a good notch above its competition as it used color a lot more than the others and it was printed on a good deal better quality of paper making it slicker and shinier. It also contained stories which, though never racy were nevertheless a bit edgier than the others.
       Its contents were anthology in nature with an assortment of different series run in each issue in serial format. Case in point, this series about The Girls which would present usually two, later one page per issue with each adventure taking usually 4-6 issues to tell.
       Diana also had annual issues each year and two of them contained one story each about this pair of teenage agents.


       Finding information of each issue has proven to be challenging. As a result, the exact number and nature of the stories remains a mystery.
       What I list below are the adventures I have gleaned from the few clues I have. Anyone having additional information is implored to correct me!

1 'The First Adventure' 'The First Adventure'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1966

Published in Diana #176 07/02/1966 to possibly #186 09/10/1966.
[plot unknown]

2 'Danger At the Mountain Adventure School' 'Danger At the Mountain Adventure School'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1966

Published in Diana, #187 09/17/1966 to possibly #195 11/12/1966.
Miss Z sends Gale Price and Nicola Main to an "adventure school in the mountains", apparently in the northeast part of Wales where "a reign of terror has hit" which threatens to close it down. "Find out what it's all about," she directs. At work are some very dangerous operatives from O.C.T.O.P.U.S.
Click here to read the story.

3 'The Third Adventure' 'The Third Adventure'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1966

Published in Diana, possibly #196 11/19/1966 to possibly #205 12/21/1967.
[plot unknown]

4 'Danger At The Pop Music School' 'Danger At The Pop Music School'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1967

Published in Diana, possibly #206 01/28/1967 to #215 04/01/1967.
Gale Price and Nicola Main are posing as new pupils "investigating some mysterious goings-on at a pop music school run by a strange character called Alexander the Greatest".
Click here to read the story.

5 'Danger At The Scottish Sea School' 'Danger At The Scottish Sea School'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1967

Published in Diana, #216 04/08/1967 to possibly #225 06/10/1967.
This adventure has Gale Price and Nicola Main heading to an "island off the north-west coast of Scotland" where "a sea-school close by has asked for" help from N.O.O.D.L.E.S. Something called the Devil's Cauldron is involved.
Click here to read the story.

6 'Danger At The School For Geniuses' 'Danger At The School For Geniuses'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1967

Published in Diana, from possibly #226 06/17/1967 to #234 08/12/1967.
Agents Gale Price and Nicola Main go up against the evil Red Angels when they are sent to protect a young scientist at a school for geniuses. The Red Angels are out to get hold of a secret weapon being developed by that scientist.

7 'Danger With The Deadly White Kitten! 'Danger With The Deadly White Kitten!
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1967

Published in Diana, from #235 08/19/1967 to possibly #245 10/28/1967.
Contact with all the bases that N.O.O.D.L.E.S. has throughout the country and beyond has ceased. A dire message from Carmel Crimson of the Red Angels threatens destruction of the main headquarters unless Agents Main and Price are turned over to her who has "a personal score to settle with them!"
Click here to read the story.

8 'Danger With The Terrible Tengali' 'Danger With The Terrible Tengali'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1967

Published in Diana, from possibly #246 11/04/1967 to #261 02/17/1968.
Gale Price and Nicola Main are investigating the mysterious Masked Ballet run by the sinister Tengali, a man who has an amazing ability to "change the face of any person he wishes". 
Click here to read the story.

9 'Danger With Downdale Private School' 'Danger With Downdale Private School'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1967

Published in Diana Annual 1968.
It is to the "most exclusive" private school in the country, Downdale, that Gale Price and Nicola Main are sent. Lately the school has been terrorized and pupils and staff are fleeing "at an alarming rate". The matter will involve the train tracks which run adjacent to the facility and the occasional extra-valuable cargo that train sometimes carries.
Click here to read the story.

10 'Danger With The Disappearing Athletes 'Danger With The Disappearing Athletes
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1968

Published in Diana Annual 1969.
Top athletes from various schools across the country have mysteriously vanished. One such person, a shot-putter, was found soon after "wandering about near a posh school in the foothills of Scotland" in a daze mumbling about gold. Cruel forced labor is what Gale Price and Nicola Main will find when they investigate, 
Click here to read the story.

MY COMMENTS

The name for this series, the Girls from N.O.O.D.L.E.S. almost certainly means that it will be relegated to a position of ignominy and likely derision because, let's face it, ?? NOODLES ?? And yet!!!

The artwork on this series is extremely well done, especially for the black-and-white-centric British comic scene of the mid-1960s. Largely done by Geoffrey Whittam who I gave creator credits to, the detail to the landscapes as well as the people and the colors chosen were top-notch! I was especially taken with his use of what I, in my non-expert mind, call white space was exceptionally well done. He often drew nothing in the background and it worked!

Add to the artistic beauty a series of well-crafted stories with some pretty dark themes (slavery, mass killings, mind-control) and you have tales that would not seem 'normal' for a teen girl magazine of that era. 

I would love to be able to fill in the huge gaps of story pages and read the full tales.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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